Stories & Features

Discover new ways to save with the Industrial Cohort program

Make long-term changes possible with the Cohort program and others

If you're a subscriber to our quarterly Current newsletter, you'll no doubt be familiar with BC Hydro's Strategic Energy Management (SEM) approach. We help our commercial and industrial customers to strategically control their electricity costs and manage their energy usage long term. And our SEM Hub, launched earlier this year, brings dynamic consumption data, project status, and access to some powerful free tools to maximize your overall savings.

While these digital features are very useful, we also realize that it can be hard to maintain momentum while you manage all the other parts of your business. So you'll be glad to know that we also have three programs designed to help any industrial customers make long term savings based on their annual electricity usage.

Industrial Cohort program

(For businesses using 4 – 20 gigawatt hours per year)

The program spanning the widest range of customer needs is our Industrial Cohort. Working with energy experts, this two-year program successfully brings together groups of up to 12 customers from all kinds of different businesses for a curriculum of investigating, identifying and implementing changes to their facilities.

"The cohort members learn from each other as well as from our experts. At the end of the two years, they've made significant operational changes, have identified some future projects, and have a working energy model that allows them to continuously track their performance," says Greg Lehoux, Senior Program Manager, Industrial Marketing.

While the cost of the cohort is free, commitment involves at least two members of your team and attendance to 40 hours (roughly 6-8) of offsite workshops spread over 24 months, along with projects to pursue at their facility.

However, this modest effort often leads to significant savings and learning for the businesses involved, with possible energy savings of 5-10% per year, and the potential to earn up to $7k in bonus funding. Kodak Canada, featured in the video above, managed to save 634,336 kWh (or over 7%) in annual consumption after completing the Industrial Cohort program, with their team identifying over nine key areas for improvement, including lighting, HVAC, compressed air and server rooms.

Industrial Energy Manager program

(For businesses using 10+ gigawatt hours per year)

The potential energy savings for very large facilities mean that it often makes economic sense to have a full-time resource onsite. So with the Industrial Energy Manager program, BC Hydro funds 75% of the salary of a dedicated Energy Manager who is fully focused on corporate energy management culture and helping to implement business and technical solutions for their specific site. Greg Lehoux explains: "It's a very customized approach. Every large company is different. And it's the Energy Manager's job to create the short and long term energy saving plans for that company to succeed."

Regional Energy Manager program

(For businesses using 0.5 – 4 gigawatt hours per year)

There are still opportunities for customers consuming much less power. If the Industrial Cohort program isn't feasible, there's also our Regional Energy Manager program. This is a BC Hydro expert who helps small to medium businesses navigate possible incentives, or connects them with specialists who can help identify energy saving opportunities. You can read more about our Regional Energy Manager in this recent story.

Want to join this year's Cohort?

Right now, we're looking for keen participants for this year's Industrial Cohort program. If your business is interested in learning and sharing advanced energy saving approaches, talk to your Key Account Manager, Regional Energy Manager – or contact the BC Hydro Business Helpdesk: